Oddie was born in Rochdale, Lancashire and grew up in Birmingham. He read English Literature at Pembroke College, Cambridge where he gained an MA. He is most famous for his birdwatching and conservation work. In the 1970s, he was a member of the BBC One television comedy series, The Goodies. Doctors found that his mother, Lilian, had schizophrenia. Oddie says that he does not remember her living at home because she spent a lot of her life in mental hospitals.
- "BBC - h2g2 - Bill Oddie, OBE - Comedian and Naturalist - A32619233". bbc.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A32619233. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
- "BBC - Family History - WDYTYA? Series One: Celebrity Gallery". bbc.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/familyhistory/get_started/wdytya_s1_celeb_gallery_01.shtml. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
- Bill Oddie is not amused by his treatment at BBC